LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- New mothers in Los Angeles County now have a free online resource to help them get healthy after having a baby – ChooseHealthLAMoms.com. Today the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched the website designed by postpartum experts and moms to help mothers return to a healthier weight after having a baby. In initial pilot testing of the program, 49% of the moms reached their pre-pregnancy weight only two months after giving birth.
The six-month program encourages three simple activities: Exclusive breastfeeding, drinking water and walking. ChooseHealthLAMoms.com allows mothers to create a personal online account to access free lessons, text reminders, and a weekly tracker. The trackers help moms monitor their goals for walking, drinking water, breastfeeding, and weight loss.
In Los Angeles County, 46% of postpartum women are overweight or obese with a disproportionately higher number of Latina and African American women being affected. Previous studies have shown only 36% of women reach their pre-pregnancy weight within six months.
"Mothers play a critical role in teaching and modeling healthy behaviors for their families, and ChooseHealthLAMoms.com gives women the tools they need to get their health on track," said Cynthia Harding, MPH, Interim Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "In a short amount of time, this program has already proven effective in building healthy habits that will have a positive impact on families in LA County."
This program includes a comprehensive online library of material designed specifically for new moms. Resources include support for breastfeeding as well as stress management, mental health and nutrition.
"Being overweight or obese during pregnancy is linked to poor birth outcomes, lower breastfeeding rates, and obesity-related health problems for both the mother and baby," said Dr. Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, Director of Reproductive Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Programs. "Showing a postpartum mom how to obtain a healthy weight will not only impact and improve her health, but potentially her family's as well."
With more than 92% of new moms using text messaging and social media, Choose Health LA Moms will be delivered as a social media campaign. Text messages will direct participants to weekly lessons based on their delivery date. Data will be collected over the next two years to assess the program's effectiveness.
"Our goal is to support moms wherever they are and when it is convenient for them," Ramos said. "This evidence-based postpartum weight management program can supplement their health provider's recommendations."
The website, funded through a grant from First 5 LA, launched today and will target Los Angeles County moms via online messages and advertisements, posters, direct mail and other media including health plans, hospitals, medical clinics, doctor offices, and community partners.
Choose Health LA Moms is an initiative of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health partnering with other county departments and public agencies, community and faith-based organizations, and health care providers to help new moms get healthy.
NOTE: Examples of the website information and the media campaign available upon request.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.
SOURCE Los Angeles County Department of Public Health